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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Sydney Augustine at 9:28PM

Written by Sydney Augustine, Sports Media ‘19, Blogging Intern, Queens, New York

On a late Friday afternoon, Ithaca College's campus feels somewhat like a ghost town. 


During the week, there are thousands of students trekking around South Hill trying to make it to class on time or grab lunch with a friend or catch a professor during office hours.


And the central hangout spot, IC Square, is usually a swarming hive of young adults eating, studying, conversing, or attempting to do all three. 


Instead, only a few students are sprinkled around the pub when the weekend arrives. 


One of these students happens to be Molly Bandelli, a junior Television-Radio major.


As a fellow Parkie in the Communications School, Molly possesses a similarly unique perspective of how communications can be used to promote social change. 


"It's [televison, radio, film] a medium that can create change through the messages it displays and communicates," Molly says when explaining why she chose her particular major.


Molly comes from a strong social justice background, which is why she has declared a minor in Sociology as well. 


Growing up with a social worker for a mother and a criminal defense attorney for a father, Molly remembers how her parents would often bring their work home. 


"They would always ask for my input or advice when working on cases," Molly reminisces. 


They also watched provocative and eye-opening documentaries, like Paradise Lost, as a family.


This ignited her passion for documentary films and led her to intern for The Documentary Group these past two summers. 


During her internship, she engaged in a lot of the pre-production work for a documentary about the 14th amendment. 


While working on this particular project, similar emotions were stirred like when she watched Paradise Lost as a tween. 


"Documentaries, TV, films are all vehicles to spread awareness of issues and create social change. People often aren't educated on certain issues, but media is an effective way of spreading awareness and the first step to creating change."


The impact media has had on Molly's critical thinking and interpretation of the world, has created a yearning for deep and meaningful conversations.


Her first one being with Joe Berlinger, a leading voice in non-fiction film and television for the last several decades. 


After watching his 1996 documentary, Paradise Lost, Molly was able to score an interview with Berlinger for a middle school school project. 


"I can close my eyes and go right back to that day, even though it was seven years ago."


That experience, Molly believes it what set her on the path she is on today. 


It also made her well prepared for her most-recent interview with Professor Schlesinger, which she conducted as a FLEFF Blogging Intern. 


"FLEFF is kind of an open forum for everything," Molly says, "The fact that he [Professor Schlesinger] is an accountant and teaches in the Business School, but is heavily involved in the arts and FLEFF speaks to that“ 


Her surprising interview helped her realize how inclusive and interdisplicinary FLEFF is. This usually stems from festivals' dependency on dialogue and offering new perspectives, which Molly is looking most forward to.


"I desperately was looking for conversation at a young age, and now FLEFF will provide me with that same conversation with a lot more people - students, professors, and even locals."

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